Man who took sunset picture saddened about Android phones crashing
After learning that his striking photo of a sunset troubled Android phone users, the photographer shared his story in taking the photo and the unexpected aftermath.
Amateur photographer Gaurav Agrawal took the picture in August 2019 at the St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana, he told BBC in June 9.
It shows rays of light seeping through heavy clouds, some of which have red hues. He then shared it on photo platform Flickr.
When used as a wallpaper, Android users said they experienced their phones switching on and off. It turned out that the lockscreen was being activated and deactivated.
To address the issue, users had to perform a factory reset, which meant all their data got erased. It could also be fixed by deleting the file.
“I didn’t do anything intentionally. I’m sad that people ended up having issues,” Agrawal told BBC.
He recalled that on the day he took the photo, he had been surprised by snapping such a “magical” view on his Nikon camera. He was at the park with his wife for the third time.
He edited the photo using the software Lightroom. The software has color mode options to export the photo, and whichever Agrawal chose apparently could not be handled by some Android phones.
Ken Munro and Dave Lodge from security firm Pen Test Partners explained to BBC that phones “check what the image ‘color space’ is to work out how to display it properly.”
A color space is “how a phone knows how to display exactly the right shade of green, for example.”
“The phone crashes because it doesn’t know how to deal with it correctly, and the software developers probably hadn’t considered this might happen,” they said.
Meanwhile, Agrawal promised he would use “another format from now on.”
He said, “I hoped my photograph would have gone ‘viral’ for a good reason, but maybe that’s for another time.” Niña V. Guno /ra
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